Malay, English, Mandarin, Tamil
7.5% - 17%
Singapore Dollar (SGD)
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This country guide is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice, nor as binding based on your relationship with Lano. When using Lano's solutions, the specifics may depend on your EOR and Payroll setup with our partners. Although we update this guide regularly, it may not reflect current legal developments. Lano Software GmbH disclaims any liability for any actions you take or refrain from taking based on the content contained in this country guide.
Singapore is an attractive destination for international companies looking to grow their remote teams. Not only has Singapore got relatively low tax rates but also the fact that English is one of the four official languages makes the country a great place for international recruiting.
Furthermore, the Singapore Government has invested big sums in the country’s human capital in recent years in order to create a highly skilled workforce which can compete on the global market. According to the OECD, the country ranks top of the list when it comes to numeracy skills among young employees.
Employment contracts in Singapore can have several forms and do not need to be in writing in order to be legally valid. However, it is best practice to provide employees in Singapore with a written employment contract stating at least the basic terms of employment such as:
Identification of both parties
Date of commencement (and employment duration for temporary contracts)
Job description and duties
Basic salary and overtime pay, as well as other forms of compensation or bonuses
Working hours and rest days
Allowances and deductions
Additional medical benefits
Notice periods for employment termination
Probation periods in Singapore range from three to six months and must be defined in the employment contract.
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The national Employment Act sets the rules for rest days, working hours, breaks, overtime and other aspects concerning employment. However, not all employees are covered by it: Managers and executives as well as workmen earning more than SGD 4,500 or employees earning more than SGD 2,600 per month are not included.
A standard workweek in Singapore is 44 hours, usually spread over a five-day week with a normal daily working time of up to nine hours. For employees whose normal workweek comprises six days, daily working time is usually less than eight hours.
After six hours of consecutive work, employees have to take a break. During an eight-hour shift, employees should be granted a lunch break of at least 45 minutes. Employees must have at least one whole day of rest per week.
Employees who fall under Singapore’s Employment Act are to be remunerated at a rate of at least 150% of usual wages for every hour they work overtime. An employer is not allowed to require more than 72 hours of overtime work from an employee within one single month. Furthermore, the employee’s maximum daily working time must not exceed twelve hours.
The national Employment Act rules that salaries in Singapore must be paid at least once a month and no later than seven days after the respective work period has ended.
There is no minimum wage in Singapore.
Employment law in Singapore distinguishes between two types of sick leave: so-called outpatient sick leave and paid hospitalisation leave. In order to claim either of them, employees must have worked for their current employer for more than three consecutive months and be covered by the regulations of the national Employment Act (see above).
The number of paid sick days depends on the employee’s length of service:
3 months of service = 5 days outpatient sick leave and 15 days paid hospitalisation leave
4 months of service = 8 days outpatient sick leave and 30 days paid hospitalisation leave
5 months of service = 11 days outpatient sick leave and 45 days paid hospitalisation leave
over 6 months of service = 14 days outpatient sick leave and 60 days paid hospitalisation leave
Every time an employee takes outpatient sick leave, they must inform their employer no later than 48 hours after the beginning of their absence from work and provide a medical certificate proving they are unfit for work.
Employers are obligated to continue paying the employee’s normal wages throughout sick leave. They also have to reimburse the employee for their medical expenses if the consultation has been made with a registered doctor.
Although not legally required, it is common practice for employers to pay their employees an annual bonus.
Employees and employers in Singapore are subject to the following tax and social security contribution rates (last review February 2023):
17% corporate tax rate
8% VAT (standard rate)
up to 24%
Individual income tax rates range
from 0% to 24% *
up to 17%
7.5% – 17% of employee’s gross salary, depending on employee’s age:
aged under 55: 17% to Central Provident Fund (CPF)
aged 55 – 60: 14.5% to Central Provident Fund (CPF)
aged 60 – 65: 11% to Central Provident Fund (CPF)
aged 65 – 70: 8.5% to Central Provident Fund (CPF)
aged over 70: 7.5% to Central Provident Fund (CPF)
Additional Skills Development Levy (SDL) of 0.25%
up to 20%
5% – 20% of employee’s gross salary, depending on employee’s age:
aged under 55: 20% to Central Provident Fund (CPF)
aged 55 – 60: 15% to Central Provident Fund (CPF)
aged 60 – 65: 9.5% to Central Provident Fund (CPF)
aged 65 – 70: 7% to Central Provident Fund (CPF)
aged over 70: 5% to Central Provident Fund (CPF)
* Read more
Individual income is taxed progressively based on the following tax brackets (percentage rates given only apply to income exceeding the respective tax bracket threshold):
Up to SGD 20,000 - 0%
SGD 20,001 to SGD 30,000 - 2%
SGD 30,001 to SGD 40,000 - 3.5%
SGD 40,001 to SGD 80,000 - 7%
SGD 80,001 to SGD 120,000 - 11.5%
SGD 120,001 to SGD 160,000 - 15%
SGD 160,001 to SGD 200,000 - 18%
SGD 200,001 to SGD 240,000 - 19%
SGD 240,001 to SGD 280,000 - 19.5%
SGD 280,001 to SGD 320,000 - 20%
SGD 320,001 to SGD 500,000 - 22%
SGD 500,001 to SGD 1,000,000 - 23%
Over SGD 1,000,000 - 24%
Please note that the social security contributions indicated above do not necessarily reflect the actual employment costs. These may differ depending on the employment contract and due to other factors (e.g. 13th and 14th salary, health insurance allowances, accrual for severance pay, etc.).
The statutory minimum for annual leave in Singapore is seven days. With each year of employment, employees gain one extra paid day off until they reach a total of 14 days of annual leave. In practice, employers usually grant between 14 and 20 paid vacation days per year.
In addition, the country observes eleven public holidays. If a public holiday falls on a rest day, the next working day will automatically turn into a paid holiday. If a public holiday falls on an employee’s non-working day, the employee either receives an additional day off or an extra day’s pay.
Female employees can claim either 12 or 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, depending on whether they fulfill the following conditions:
they have completed at least three months of consecutive service with their current employer
the child must be a Singaporean citizen
notice has been given to the employer at least one week before the start of maternity leave
If the employee fails to meet all of the above mentioned criteria, this may result in her maternity leave being reduced to twelve weeks. Maternity leave in Singapore is usually fully paid with the employer covering the first eight weeks of leave while pay for the last eight weeks is covered by the Government – after the second birth, maternity leave is entirely covered by the Singapore Government.
Fathers of newborn children are allowed to take 14 days of government-paid paternity leave if
they have completed at least three months of consecutive service with their current employer
the child is a Singaporean citizen
they are married to the child’s mother (or at least have been married to her during the period between conception and birth)
Paternity leave must be taken within the first 16 weeks after the child’s birth. It is possible to either take two continuous weeks or to split paternity leave into several shorter periods.
It is possible that the mother allocates four weeks of her unused maternity leave to the child’s father – under the condition that both parents are married and the child is a lawful citizen of Singapore. During this shared parental leave, the father’s wages are paid by the Government up to a limit of SGD 2,5000 per week. As for paternity leave, shared parental leave can either be taken in one or several blocks.
In addition to the above mentioned leave entitlements, employees in Singapore have the right to request time off work for the following reasons:
six days of paid childcare leave per calendar year for children aged six years or younger – two days if the child is not a Singaporean citizen
six days of unpaid childcare leave per calendar year for children under two years – only if the child holds the Singaporean nationality
twelve weeks of paid adoption leave for female employees adopting a child of one year or younger
In addition to employment termination by default – i.e. in case of a fixed-term contract – or voluntary termination by the employee, Singapore’s labour law provides for the following reasons for employee dismissal (non-exhaustive list):
gross misconduct such as theft, dishonesty etc.
breach of employment contract by either employer or employee, e.g. employee’s absence from work without approval or notice
Depending on the reason, the employment may be terminated with or without prior notice. While termination due to a breach of the employment contract by either employee or employer or dismissal due to the employee’s misconduct do not require any prior notice, both employee and employer have to respect the following statutory notice periods in all other cases – unless specified otherwise in the employment contract:
Length of Service
Minimum notice period
Payment in lieu of notice is possible for both parties. Furthermore, employees who are covered under the Singapore Employment Act and who have been working for the employer for more than two years are entitled to severance pay if their employment is terminated due to redundancy.
However, the Employment Act does not fix the amount to be paid. As a norm, employers should consider severance pay equal to two weeks’ or one month’s wages for each completed year of service.
This country guide is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The content of this guide contains general information, and although we update this guide regularly, it may not reflect current legal developments. Lano Software GmbH disclaims any liability for any actions you take or refrain from taking based on the content contained in this country guide.
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